SAN JOSE, CA–On Wednesday the San Jose City Manager’s Office failed to apply for federal funding that could have saved the jobs of 43 police officers. They did so without consulting with the City Council. The City Manger’s Office could have applied for funding to save the jobs of 53 officers, but chose instead to only apply for funding to save 10.
The application deadline for the federal COPS program was Wednesday, May 25. Submitting an application for funding does not require that the city take the funds if they are awarded. Additionally, the funds would not have been awarded until August. Failing to apply for these funds limits the city’s options to save officer’s jobs. “This is a missed opportunity. I find it shocking that the City Manager’s Office would fail to even consult the council before making this decision.
” said George Beattie, President of the San Jose Police Officers’ Association. Beattie further indicated that he understands that the city’s share of the money to fund these positions has not yet been identified, but felt not applying for the funds was shortsighted. “We still have 2-3 months left to find the money, which perhaps could have come from savings achieved through pension reform or from the 103 officers that are due to retire by the time the bulk of the city’s share of the funding would be due in 2014,” said Beattie.
Some members of the Council were attempting to find the money needed to fulfill the city’s obligations for the 53 positions when they were informed of the city manager’s office’s puzzling decision. Recently, the City of San Jose sent lay off notices to 278 police officers. The City Manager’s Office’s decision this week made the layoffs of 43 of these officers closer to reality.
The SJPOA has reached out to San Jose’s local congressional delegation for assistance. Congressman Mike Honda’s office filed a congressional inquiry with the US Department of Justice on Thursday to determine the city’s options.
The San José Police Officers’ Association (SJPOA) has been serving San José Police Officers and the community since 1962. The SJPOA is charged with the enhancement of wages, benefits and working conditions of the over 1,200 men and women of the San Jose Police Department. We are law enforcement officers dedicated to serving all segments of the community with the pride and caring of professional police officers. Further, we support the San José community through our charitable giving and the promotion of programs that enhance public safety.
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